Greetings everyone! As the temperatures heat up, so does my schedule. I’m keeping busy with PDR shows, the Dents and Dreams podcast, and oh, fixing dents and dings.
It seems that summer finally decided to arrive in Minnesota, and backyard barbeques, boating, outdoor sports, and just enjoying the fresh air now take up part of our leisure time.
We’ve been talking a lot about road trips the last few months. One of the things heartier Minnesotans like to combine with road trips involves camping. I mean, wondering whether or not a bear will attack you in your sleep accounts for a lot more excitement than anything on Netflix…right? Seriously though, if you want to make camping part of your summer fun, you’d better act soon. Not only do weblink and summer ends, but camping ground reservations fill up quickly.
Nearby camping sites with a view:
In Minnesota, we’re fortunate that we don’t need to travel very far to enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you plan to pitch a tent at the campgrounds or stay in a luxury hotel, consider these quick trips that will make you feel like you really escaped the rat race:
The Northshore Scenic Route offers 145 miles of breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, and lighthouses along Lake Superior.
Lake Mille Lacs not only comes with serene views but also gives you plenty of opportunities to learn about the Ojibwa people and their culture and history.
On the Gun Flint Trail, when you tire of camping, a visit to the charming town of Grand Marais will immerse you in art and blueberries.
You can also explore many options along the Great River Road and check out the towns along the Mississippi, including Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Bluff County brings you into Wisconsin, but not before you go through the interesting town of Lanesboro with its Victorian Architecture.
Afton also offers horseback riding.
Bunker Hill lest you take a break from roughing it with a waterpark only a mile away.
Ham Lake makes for a swimmers paradise.
William O’Brien State Park on the St. Croix surrounds you with serenity.
And if you want to travel a little farther…
It takes only about five hours from the heart of the Twin Cities to get to Madeline Island in La Pointe, Wisconsin. You’ll need to stop in Bayfield and take the ferry to get over to the Island. Most likely, if you do intend to camp, you and your vehicle will hitch a ride over to the Island. The two main campsites include Big Bay State Park and Big Bay Town Park. You’re going to see a lot of stars and hear a lot of loons but beware of the Gypsy moths. Rules about transporting firewood exist, so you don’t take the invasive pests home with you.
And, if you hunger for civilization or food or libations, the town of La Pointe offers plenty of options.
Prepare for your trip:
You experienced campers probably already know what to bring, but if you’re new to the experience or need a reminder, consider this checklist:
Sleeping gear like sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses and pillows, and a tent
Cooking gear such as dishes, utensils, pots, and pans are often available in readymade sets.
Bottle opener and corkscrew
First aid kit and bug spray and sunscreen
And, of course, food and beverages.
And hey, if your car or boat ends up with a few dings or dents while on the road, give me a call, and you won’t even know it happened.